Craig Morris , September 27, 2019
Wild Alaska Pollock: All Upside
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from the protein industry was on a panel with the Chief Marketing Officer for Impossible Foods—creator of the now-famous “Impossible Burger.” The CMO candidly said that their marketing angle is not one of healthfulness or wellness, but rather one of sustainability: that feeding plants to people is much better for our planet Earth than feeding animals to them.
The traditional agricultural industries, where I grew up, from beef, to pork to dairy, have been in the trenches duking it out with plant-based beverages, and most recently meats, for several years. They’ve been put squarely on the defensive and are losing ground…fast.
I often marvel about how seafood—and Wild Alaska Pollock specifically—have the exact opposite problem. We’re not fighting to make up ground stolen by new proteins with a better story. Quite the contrary, seafood has the benefit of getting to play offense, to be proactive, to be disruptive.
My career has been dotted with lessons learned, mistakes I’ve watched traditional agriculture make time and again. Not being bold. A lack of calculated risks. Using marketing as a band-aid to mask over a failure to evolve. Failure to pick battles wisely. I carry those hard-witnessed lessons with me to this industry, with every hope and confidence that we can avoid a similar fate.
In a few weeks, many of you will join me at the World Trade Center Seattle for our first-ever Wild Alaska Pollock industry Annual Meeting. We’ll use this time to talk about what I call the “all upside” our industry has in front of it: the enormous opportunities we have to seize upon, collectively. It’s also a time for us to celebrate the name that Wild Alaska Pollock has begun to build for itself.
As I see it, we have two great tasks in front of us: first, to make Wild Alaska Pollock an irreplaceable household name with such unsurpassed consumer demand that none of our current customers can bear to replace us with any old generic whitefish. And second, to continue to take risks and innovate, looking for new ways to deliver value by bringing Wild Alaska Pollock to new consumers in endless new ways.
I know we’re up to these two great tasks and I’m excited to figure out how we tackle them, together. Yes, we may have to play some defense from time to time, but in my view—the sky’s the limit to how high we can fly.